#11 - 13 Places my Husband has been posted as a Canadian Military Engineer
Last week I brought you: 13 Conflicts Past and Present in which Canadians Have Served
This week I'm sharing with you 13 places my husband has been posted, including his tours overseas (which I'm listing first). 1-4, naturally, were unaccompanied (being combat and peacekeeping missions) and 5 was also unaccompanied. Unaccompanied means that the family stays back home in Canada during the mission. Typically, for peacekeeping missions, the Canadian Forces member has one week of leave, sometime during the tour, where they can come home to Canada to visit family. Alternatively, one family member (ie. spouse) can fly to meet them somewhere between the mission location and Canada, provided it doesn't cost more to fly the family member and Canadian Forces member to that location, than it does to fly the Canadian Forces member back to Canada.
- Operation Desert Storm / Persian Gulf War: As a young Lieutenant (pronounced Left-tenant), my husband was in command of a troop of soldiers, who were originally deployed to provide engineering services for the Canadian Field Hospital in Saudi Arabia (including maintaining the water purification unit) but they ended up doing a lot of EOD work (Explosive Ordnance Disposal - in other words, munitions disposal) in Kuwait, after that country was liberated. My husband was actually the officer who opened up the Canadian Embassy in Kuwait City after the liberation.
- Operation HALO / United Nations Support Mission in Haiti (UNSMIH) - My husband served a six-month peacekeeping tour in Haiti. In Haiti, again my husband participated in EOD work, as well as helping to re-build one of the major ports in Port-au-Prince. They also helped with humanitarian projects, such as rebuilding schools.
- Operation PALLADIUM / NATO Stabilization Force (SFOR) Bosnia - My husband served a six-month tour of duty in Bosnia, supervising mine clearance as well as rebuilding efforts. Again, the Canadian military engineers helped with humanitarian projects, such as rebuilding roads and schools.
- Operation ECLIPSE / United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) - This is another peacekeeping tour that my husband did. This one was particularly rough, because he was gone over Christmas. He was one of the first officers and soldiers to go over, because, as the Deputy Commanding Officer, he was in charge of the engineers setting up the camp. When they arrived, there was nothing but an empty field, and they had to build everything from scratch. They were living in pup-tents and burning their waste while they set up the camp. On Christmas Day, it is traditional for Canadian officers to do the soldiers' duties, to give the soldiers the day off. So my husband spent that Christmas burning human waste (this was before they had the sewer system for the camp set up) and ate a "boil a bag" meal. This was also during their first month of the tour, so they didn't have any phone or computer access yet. They only had the satellite phone for emergencies. So I didn't even get a call from him on Christmas. Once the camp was set up, around mid-January, I started hearing from him almost every day via email, and once a week by phone. But that Christmas was hard.
- Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham, UK - My husband spent six months in England on course at the Royal Military College of Science, doing post-graduate-level work in explosive chemistry.
- 56 Field Engineer Squadron, St. John's, Newfoundland - This was my husband's reserve unit while he was a student at university. After graduating from university, he joined the Regular Force as an engineering officer.
- Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering, CFB Chilliwack, British Columbia - Sadly, the base at Chilliwack was closed during the 1990s, so there's no chance of being posted back there in the future. British Columbia has some of the nicest weather in Canada, but since there are no longer any regular force army bases in BC, it's highly unlikely we'll ever end up in BC.
- 2 Combat Engineer Regiment, CFB Petawawa, Ontario - This was my husband's first posting as a newly-minted Lieutenant, many years before I met him. While in Petawawa he earned his jumper's wings (passing the military parachute course), becoming an Airborne Engineer.
- 4 Engineer Support Regiment, CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick - My husband served two tours of duty in 4ESR. During his second tour he was the unit's DCO (Deputy Commanding Officer), second-in-command behind the Commanding Officer.
- Land Force Trials and Evaluation Unit, CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick - This unit conducted all kinds of different trials of various new equipment, and evaluated their performance. My husband was the engineering officer assigned to the unit.
- Directorate of Land Communication and Information, Ottawa, Ontario - My husband was the engineering officer assigned to DLCI. DLCI is responsible for the design, implementation and support of various information technology and telecommunications services.
- Canadian Forces Language School, Foreign Language School, Asticou, Gatineau, Quebec - My husband was posted here a year before our posting to Germany to learn the German language. I was fortunate enough to be able to take the language training with him. Here in Munich, my husband works as an exchange officer/liaison officer in a German environment, so he had to have a good working ability in German before being posted to Munich.
- Verbindungsoffizier, Pionierschule, Prinz-Eugen-Kaserne, München, Deutschland - This is our current posting to Munich. My husband is working as a liaison/exchange officer at the German military engineering school and at the NATO military engineering school. He keeps the German engineers apprised of Canadian military engineering issues, and vice-versa. He also teaches/lectures at the NATO school and the German military engineering school.
Note: The red uniform my husband is wearing in the picture to the right is called "Mess Kit" or "Mess Dress". It is the formal uniform for engineering officers in the army, the equivalent of a civilian tuxedo. Although it is red, it is NOT an RCMP uniform. It is a Canadian Forces Officer's uniform.
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